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Nicole R. Fleetwood

Fleetwood Square


Associate Professor of American Studies

Office: RAB 205F

Office Hours: On Leave 2016-2017


Phone: 848-932-9174

Nicole R. Fleetwood is an Associate Professor in the Department of American Studies at Rutgers University, New Brunswick. She researches and teaches in the areas of visual culture and media studies, black cultural studies, ethnography, gender theory, and culture and technology studies. Her articles appear in African American Review,American Quarterly, Callaloo: Art and Culture in the African Diaspora, Public Culture, Signs, Social Text, tdr: the journal of performance studies, and edited anthologies. Her book Troubling Vision: Performance, Visuality, and Blackness (University of Chicago Press, 2011) is the recipient of the 2012 Lora Romero First Book Publication Prize of the American Studies Association.  She is also the author of On Racial Icons: Blackness and the Public Imagination (Rutgers University Press, 2015).

Fleetwood received her Ph.D. from Stanford University in the Program in Modern Thought and Literature and her B.Phil. from the School of Interdisciplinary Studies at Miami University (Ohio). She has worked as a consultant and has collaborated with a number of arts organizations and programs, including the Ford Foundation’s Artography initiative, New Museum of Contemporary Art’s Visual Knowledge Program, Walker Art Center, Southern Exposure, San Francisco Arts Commission, and Youth Speaks. She has served on the Constance Rourke Prize Committee for best essay published in American Quarterly (2007-2009) and the Minority Scholars’ Committee of the American Studies Association (2004-2007).

Currently, she is the ACLS/NYPL Fellow at the Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers and a recipient of the 2016-2017 Whiting Fellowship for Public Engagement. She is on leave completing Carceral Aesthetics: Prison Art and Public Culture, a study of prison art and visuality. In it, she examines a range of visual art and practices emerging inside prisons and about prison life, including photography, painting, and collaborative works with arts organizations and commissioned artists. As part of this research, Fleetwood co-convened “Marking Time,” an international conference and multi-site exhibition on prison arts and activism that took place at Rutgers University in October 2014. For more on “Marking Time,” go to:

Dr. Nicole Fleetwood’s curriculum vitae

Selected Publications

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On Racial Icons: Blackness and the Public Imagination. Pinpoints series. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 2015.


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Troubling Vision: Performance, Visuality and Blackness. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2011.


Posing in Prison: Family Photographs, Emotional Labor and Carceral Intimacy.” Public Culture. 27.3 (Fall 2015)

“Performing Empathies: The Art of Saya Woolfalk.” Callaloo Art and Culture in the African Diaspora. 37.4 (Fall 2014): 973-989. 

“The Case of Rihanna: Erotic Violence and Black Female Desire.” African American Review.  45.3 (Fall 2012): 419-435.

“Failing Narratives, Initiating Technologies: Hurricane Katrina and the Production of a Weather Media Event.” American Quarterly 58.3 (Sept 2006): 767-789.

“Mediating Youth: Community-Based Production and the Politics of Race and Authenticity.” Social Text 23.1 (Spring 2005): 83-109.

“Hip-Hop Fashion, Masculine Anxiety and the Discourse of Americana.” Black Cultural Traffic:  Crossroads in Performance and Popular Culture.  Eds. Harry J. Elam, Jr. and Kennell Jackson.  Ann Arbor:  University of Michigan Press, 2005: 326-345.

“Authenticating Practices: Producing Youth, Performing Realness.” Youthscapes: The Popular, the National, and the Global.  Eds.  Sunaina Maira and Elisabeth Soep.  Philadelphia:  University of Pennsylvania Press, 2005: 155-172.

“Visible Seams: Gender, Race, Technology and the Media Art of Fatimah Tuggar.” Signs 30.1 (Autumn 2004): 1429-1454.

“'Busing it' in the City: Black Youth, Performance, and Public Transit.” TDR: the journal of performance studies 48.2 (Summer 2004): 33-48.

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Ruth Adams Building
131 George Street
RAB 201 & RAB 211
New Brunswick, NJ

tel. 848-932-9174